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CONFLICTS (draft: for discussion purposes only)

fermin p. manalo, jr.
Human Rights and Violent Conflicts
 Right to life and right to security are among
the most fundamental human rights
 They are the most widely and systematically
 Insecurity due to armed conflict remains one
of the leading obstacles to human
20TH Century

 Produced Two world wars

 Cold War that brought fear of violent conflicts between two

superpowers as it led to massive arms build up and proxy

 Post cold war – intrastate and regional conflicts within weak

and failed states in predominantly poor countries
Post Cold War Conflicts
Types of conflicts

 Ideology -based conflicts

 Clan or communal conflicts
 Territorial conflicts
 Ethnicity/identity -based conflicts
 Natural resource competition based conflicts
 Sovereignty- based conflicts
 Number of social conflicts has decreased
since the 90’s but the share of poor
countries is growing

 1999-2003, more than half of the world’s

violent conflicts are in poor countries
 International drug trafficking and illicit arms
transfer fuel violent conflicts
 Infectious diseases, environmental
destruction and hunger are still bigger killers
than armed conflict

 And they could be both cause and effect of

violent conflicts
Causal/Perpetuating Factors
 Growing poverty and inequality
 Rise of fundamentalism
 Rise of unilateralism
 Insistence on national security over human security
as the paradigm for peace and responding to
 Inability of states to meet human security needs
 Uncontrolled arms trade
 Uncontrolled use of arms and natural resource
export earnings for conflicts
 Militarized priorities
Militarized Priorities
 Extraordinary mismatch between budgets for
military and meeting human needs in many rich
countries (HDR 2005)

>For every $1 spent on development assistance,

$10 is spent on military budget

>$118B military expenditure from 2000-2003

could finance more than what is needed to uplift
poverty of many poor countries
 e.g. $4B can prevent deaths of 3 million infants a
Proliferation of Small Arms
 Small arms as major weapons in violent conflicts

 Deaths to civilians 500,000 casualties /year,

mostly in poor countries) and by anti personnel
land mines at 25,000 people/year

 Global production of arms runs at 7-8 million/year,

with US, Russia and China as the leading
Causal/Perpetuating Factors
 Growing culture of violence
 Lack of globally accepted comprehensive
framework and practice for addressing
violent conflicts
 Dominance of global economic and
military interests in decisions about
conflict and peace
Perspectives on Social Conflicts
Dominant Perspective

images and discourses about wars and conflicts

are framed from the notion of security of the
superpowers and dominant global or regional
economic/political interests
Perspectives on Social Conflicts
Emerging perspective

 Informed by human development and human security

 Puts the interest/security of affected and vulnerable

communities and groups as reference point

 Recognizes the linkage between violent conflicts and

poverty, inequality within society and among countries
and related structural realities (national and global).

 Integrated, that is, violent conflicts are seen in terms of

the collective security of the international community
Emerging Perspective….

 Framing of efforts along peacebuilding and sustainable


 Recognizes the crucial role of the public/civil

society/affected communities in addressing social
conflicts and building sustainable peace

 Recognizes the role of holistic development and

institutional building/transformation in addressing
conflicts and building sustainable peace
Concepts of security

 North – freedom from threats of terrorism and organized


 South – freedom from fear brought by the interaction

between poverty and violence, perspective of justice

It is in the South where there are massive threats to security,

and usually not directly from bullets but from disruptions of
services, malnutrition, diseases, displacements, destruction of
livelihoods, human rights violations, etc caused by or related
to violent conflicts
Net Summary

 “overdeveloped military strategy and

underdeveloped human security strategy”
(HDR, 2005)